I wanted to share with you all how a rejuvenated area can help inspire so many. The journey to create what has since become the 2012 London Olympics began back in 1997, before it was ratified and agreed upon by Government in 2000, and a bid was submitted. Five years later, the bid had become more about the sustainability and legacy an Olympic Games can leave, and the rest, as they say, is history.
However, it's much more difficult to explain how the transformation of the Stratford area has come about in just words. Instead, I want to show you some before and after images, depicting how great a difference this summer will bring our nation.
East London, and the Stratford area, in particular, was derelict, run-down, and in need of a change. The old industrial estates were becoming a crime haven, and businesses were leaving quicker than they were being replaced.
And then the Olympics came along - an opportunity for change. And boy, has it changed.
Take the Park for example. Back in 2005, it looked like this:
This was what is now the Aquatics Centre:
And finally, the wonders of the now-Athlete's Village. I know which I'd rather live in:
Hardly the ideal place to live, never mind hold an Olympics. In came the bulldozers, the landscapers and the architects, and this is what we've got now:
Now that's one hell of a change. Just judge it based on the last couple of years. Here's some time lapsed photos of the Stadium build - from 2007, 2009, and 2011 respectively.
Now remember the fact that these are permanent facilities, and are here to stay. Well, bar the temporary ones, but that's a minor matter...
Anyway, my point is this: people have scoffed at the costs of holding the Games, but complain that there aren't enough parks, housing, sports facilities or places of interest.
Well, you've just gained all four.
You can come and say hello on Twitter - I'm @AdamMillsUK. You can also let me know your thoughts via the comments box below!
All images courtesy of London 2012. Apologies for the quality...